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Our Grand Tour is the ultimate choice if you wish to discover the best of Poland in 12 days. Enjoy a varied extensive program with many unusual experiences. A thrilling personal insight into Poland, with fantastic landscapes and 1000 years of amazing history.
||Length: 12 days
||Distances: 1950 km/ 1210 miles
In the last five years this tour received only “excellent” or “very good” customer ratings with “excellent” up to 93% all votes. Last year, 4 of its 5 dates were sold out completely.
Day 1 ARRIVAL, WARSAW
Evening: Meet with your tour leader and a representative from our office. This is followed by a hearty and delicious welcome dinner.
Day 2 WARSAW
Day 3 THE DAY OF TEUTONIC KNIGHTS
Morning: Your full-day tour of the city covers the very best of fascinating Warsaw: the charming Old Town (painstakingly rebuilt from scratch after WW II); the historical Jewish Ghetto area; the vibrant downtown and the elegant Royal Route with the Palace on the Water in the Łazienki Gardens, one of Europe’s finest 18th century royal residences.
Afternoon: The next stop is the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, widely regarded as the best new museum in Poland, and dedicated to the uprising of 1944, the consequences of which scar and define the city to this day. Alternatively, you can choose to have free time to explore the cobbled lanes of the Old Town and spot the details of restoration on the facades of the historical houses.
Evening: A delicious traditional Polish dinner in a stylish restaurant. We conclude the day with a private piano concert of works by Chopin, a Polish composer-pianist revered worldwide as the greatest master of Romantic music.
Morning: Shortly after an early breakfast, we board our bus and head northwards to the Baltic Sea. We will travel through the Warmia (Ermland) region, stopping in the Ilawa Lake District to visit a marvel of 19th-century German engineering: the Ostroda-Elblag Canal, a system of canals combined with a narrow-gauge railway. Your boat cruise will let you take in the natural and technical wonders of this top Poland attraction.
Afternoon: A tour of Malbork (Marienburg) Castle, a triumph of architecture and one of the biggest medieval castles in Europe. Between 1309-1459, it was the seat of the mighty Order of Teutonic Knights. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with meticulously restored interiors such as the great halls, magnificent high towers and even a central heating system.
Evening: Drive to Gdańsk. Check-in to a comfortable hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4 GDANSK & SOPOT
Morning: We start with Sopot, the most popular Polish seaside resort , quaint yet sophisticated, known for being the ‘Monte Carlo’ of the Baltic. After, we take you to Oliwa with a beautiful 13th-century cathedral famous for its set of incredibly complex pipe-organs. After an organ recital, you will have free time in Gdańsk.
Afternoon: On the way to the Old Town of Gdańsk, we stop at the famous Gdańsk (formerly Lenin) Shipyards, the birthplace of the Solidarity movement led by Lech Walesa. Gdańsk’s past as the richest Polish port city has made it one of the top tourist destinations in Poland. Its Old Town is full of maritime atmosphere and packed with unique Hanseatic-style architecture. Think Amsterdam; tall and slim red-brick waterfront houses. Explore St. Mary’s church, brave a climb to the top of the tower and see the magnificent view of the whole city. There’s also a unique medieval astronomical clock and the haunting Hans Memmling masterpiece, ‘The Day of Judgement’.
Evening: Free time. Overnight stay in Gdańsk.
Day 5 TORUN – COPERNICUS
Day 6 THE FIRST POLISH CAPITAL
Morning: After breakfast, we bid farewell to Gdańsk and head south towards Toruń, another red brick pearl!
Afternoon: Lunch break followed by a tour of Toruń Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). This delightful historical city is rich in original Gothic structures that survived numerous wars and invasions, including a magnificent town hall, medieval fortification walls, the Polish "leaning tower of Pisa", as well as the superb St. James’ church. The town has always been famous for its gingerbread – taste it in different shapes and sizes. Later, we shall visit the House of Nicolaus Copernicus, Toruń’s most famous son and see where the astronomer was born.
Evening: Free time. Overnight stay in Toruń. The town may for many be the surprise hit of the entire trip. Based on what our previous clients have said, it never fails to leave a lasting impression.
Morning: On the way to Wrocław (Breslau), we will stop in Gniezno, the first Polish capital. The town is a must-see to understand the early history of Poland. The cathedral is a true gem and it was the coronation site of five Polish kings. Visitors can see the tomb of Saint Wojciech (Adalbert) as the centerpiece of the cathedral. It is renowned also for its bronze Romanesque gate.
Afternoon: Arrival at the medieval city of Wrocław in the Lower Silesia region.
Evening: Dinner in a superb restaurant. Overnight stay at a centrally located hotel.
Day 7 LOVELY SILESIA (THE CHURCH OF PEACE & WROCLAW)
Day 8 AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU & WADOWICE
Morning: From the feedback of the last ten seasons, Wrocław has always been warmly received by the visitors. You can either enjoy free time (there is plenty to do and see) in the old town or see the breathtaking university hall or go on a complimentary trip to Świdnica, a small town an hour's drive away. Świdnica is home to the huge wooden Church of Peace, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was one of the three places in Silesia where Protestantism was permitted after the Thirty Years' War and the church itself was built without using a single nail.
Midday: Shortly after lunch, we will take a short walk in the Old Town led by an experienced local guide
Evening: Free time. Overnight stay in Wrocław.
Morning: This day’s journey will be towards a totally different kind of experience. In eastern Silesia, at the edge of the town of Oświęcim there are two gruesome reminders of the former Nazi death camps that now make up the Holocaust Memorial, kept so that humanity will never forget one of the worst periods in its history. We will visit the older camp Auschwitz I (the museum) and II Birkenau, the vast area of the former work and extermination camp.
Afternoon: After lunch, we pay homage to Pope John Paul II with a visit to his home in the nearby town of Wadowice. From there, we continue south to Zakopane, the principal Polish mountain resort located at the foot of the majestic Carpathian mountain range (more than 2,000 metres above sea level).
Evening: We take part in a lively highlander show with live music and dance where you will see the folk customs that are still thriving in this region, and get a taste of the local cuisine and the strong “highlander tea”. Overnight stay in Zakopane.
Day 9 POLISH MOUNTAINS
Morning: We see the exquisite local wooden architecture in Zakopane before hopping onto the funicular railway to Mt. Gubałówka, one of the most beautiful peaks in the Tatras, to view the dramatic scenery.
Afternoon: During the day, there is time for some souvenir hunting along Krupówki Street in Zakopane.
Evening: Arrival in Kraków. Overnight stay in the beautiful Old Town.
Day 10 SALT MINES
Morning: Descent into the underground chambers of the Wieliczka Salt Mines for an unparalleled and eerie tour of the medieval galleries, chapels and halls carved out of rock and salt deposits. All you’ve heard about this place is true; there is nothing like it in the world.
Afternoon: We take a comfortable walking tour of the legendary Wawel Castle, covering the Cathedral, the Belfry and the possibility to visit the historical State Rooms.
Evening: In the evening, we take a horse carriage ride around the Old Town that will cap all the experiences of the day. Afterwards, we shall treat you to a sumptuous dinner in one of Kraków’s finest restaurants. You will have a chance to learn how to prepare delicious pierogi (our national dish, a type of dumpling filled with meat, vegetables or fruit). Overnight stay in Kraków.
Day 11 KRAKOW - ROYAL CAPITAL
Morning: This city tour promises to be a feast for the senses and includes: exploring the medieval section of the town that has the Main Town Square, the largest square in Europe; the fascinating churches with different architectural styles; and the most beautiful streets brimming with old world charm. The world’s biggest wooden altar (carved by Wit Stwosz between 1477-1489) opens its wings in the Church of the Virgin Mary each day and we will be there to witness the magical moment. From one of its twin towers, on the hour every hour, you can hear the Hejnał, the haunting alarm-call played by a trumpeter.
Afternoon: Free time. Possibility to visit an excellent local store with world-famous Polish pottery and learn about its production.
Evening: Overnight stay in Kraków.
Day 12 BLACK MADONNA, RETURN TO WARSAW
Morning: Breakfast is followed by the last highlight of our tour - Częstochowa. Along with Rome, Fatima in Portugal and Lourdes in France, the Jasna Góra (Bright Hill) Monastery of Częstochowa belongs to the most important and inspiring pilgrimage points in Christendom. We will see not only the famous Black Madonna but also the monastery premises on a tour led by a resident Pauline monk.
Afternoon/Evening: Arrival in Warsaw at approx. 18:00. Drop-off possible at the Chopin Airport, Hotel Novotel Airport, Hotel Airport Okęcie and Hotel Sheraton Warsaw Centre.
We can provide the best rates for an extended stay or arrange a continuation of the tour (favourite private extensions include: Lublin, once called Poland’s Jerusalem; Kaziemierz Dolny, an untouched renaissance trading town; Poznań, one of Poland’s most historic and dynamic cities; Białowieża forest, the last unspoilt forest in Europe with its renowned bison or a spa hotels break –Poland is noted for having restorative micro-climates.
What a fantastic overview of Poland in 12 days. We were extremely impressed with all aspects of the tour commencing with our first contact with Patrycja and wonderful tour guide Kate. We were sceptical about booking our tour over the internet but our contact and quick responses from Patrycja allayed any doubts. We were very happy with the our coach driver and Kate.
Nice balance between sightseeing and cutural activity (eg organ/piano recitals/folksinging in Zakopane). I was glad the group wasn't any bigger. I chose this tour because I had never been to the north (Baltic coast) of Poland, so although it was quite a lot of travelling, I was pleased to get to that area. Appreciated the umbrella in Warsaw! And Dennis's introductions to Polish life and 'key words' and historical backgound talks as we travelled were very helpful.Tadek was an excellent driver, too - greeted us cheerfully as we boarded the bus each day, and seemed to have tremendous patience with both traffic and people.
Your service facilitating the time up to the tour was very good. Good job, Patrycja. Kasia was terrific. She literally made the tour. Extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, friendly, patient beyond words, and a true advocate for us travelers in every situation. Her pride in Poland and its people is a part of her personality that we will never forget. Thanks for Kascia. And for Andre', too. His safe and steady driving gave us a feeling of confidence that he would 'get us there and get us back'. The itinerary was very good. Really felt we covered enough territory to have a good impression of Poland. We have gained an increased respect for the people and history of Poland.
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